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Russell Howard defends gig walkout

COMEDIAN Russell Howard said he ‘probably did the right thing’ in walking off stage mid-set after a woman in the crowd started filming him.

The comic ended a performance early in Bristol last month after taking issue with an audience member pointing her phone at him.

He reportedly told the woman that filming him as a he delivered untested material was ‘literally the worst thing you can do’, adding that she should try to ‘live in the moment’.

Russell tried to carry on, reverting to an old routine, but soon walked off stage, reportedly saying to the woman: ‘You’ve ruined it.’

But an unrepentant Russell says other performers would back his decision.

Referring to the incident as his new show is about to premiere, he said: ‘I was amazed that it went as big as it did because, you know, there’s a lot going on in the world at the moment. But apparently a wonky-eyed comedian telling a lady to live in the moment trumped all of that.

‘You won’t find any kind of artist, or performer, or comedian, or musician that would feel differently. Particularly if you’re doing a small gig and somebody’s recording it. It’s not going to be good for you and it’s not going to be good for the performer. It’s just pretty simple.

‘But I dunno, I was surprised at how crazy it went. But I think I probably did the right thing.’

Comedians frequently require audience members to leave their phones switched off during gigs.

Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson reportedly asked fans to sign a non-disclosure agreement before a performance in San Francisco last year — with the fine for breaking it set at $1million.

Dave Chappelle also bars phones from his sets, and many performers fear their material leaking.

Series four of The Russell Howard Hour premieres tonight at 10pm on Sky One and NOW TV. Howard’s rescheduled world stand-up tour, Respite, begins February 25, 2021